By Renee G.
She stood there with a sullen look in her eyes, head down and shoulders sunk, plunger in hand. I did it again! I know that I am not to let any corrupt word proceed out of my mouth and to use only words that edify and impart grace into my daughter (Ephesians 4:29), but I was exhausted. The words of destruction left my mouth before processing the entire situation and instead of being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19) I spoke the condition of my heart (Matthew 12:34).
For as many times as I had passed the test, I had failed miserably that night. The incident was not even that big of a deal, yet it was a test. God was revealing to me where I was in his refining process and determining whether he could see his reflection or if the flames needed to be restored.
The scene played out after coming home from our Wednesday night activities at church which is ironic because you would think that after being at a bible study, I would be able to pass a test when it is given. However, not this time.
I heard the sound outside of the bathroom door, and I knew from the plunger’s song that what was taking place inside was not good. Moments later, I heard the toilet flush and then water burble and rocket out of the toilet displaying itself all over the bathroom floor.
My first reaction……Seriously?? Seriously!! What were you thinking? Don’t you know that if you keep flushing and the water does not go down, it is going to overflow and come back up!? Why did you not use your brain? You are an intelligent young girl, but where is your common sense? How could you not know?….See what I mean?
My soothing tongue, which should be a tree of life, became perverse and crushed my daughter’s spirit. (Proverbs 15:4). The same tongue I had used to praise my heavenly father, I had turned to cursing-not in the sense of worldy curse words but in my Father’s eye-they were no different than speaking words of hate.
Our words can either build up or break down the soul to whom we are speaking to or about (Proverbs 15:4), and that night I chose to spew forth words of destruction snuffing the life out of my nine year old who stood next to me with a sorrowful down trodden defeated look.
I wish I could say that I changed by selfish attitude immediately, but I didn’t. I was too prideful to say I was sorry at that moment as I mopped up the mucky toilet water, but a few seconds later, the Holy Spirit had worked away the pride in my heart as I walked up to my daughter, wrapped my arms around her and asked her to forgive me for the tongue that was used to curse instead of to praise.
How quickly we forget that the hearts we parents have a privilege of shaping are so delicate. One wrong word, feeling, or gesture, could send a child spiraling into destruction. “For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). So, instead of speaking conflict, criticism, and finding fault with our children, we must speak life.
Fantastic article! I think I was halfway through college before I learned that lesson about not trying to flush while the water keeps rising. And then there was that time when a bottle of Tide fell off the washing machine and went everywhere right before I had to go to class and turn in a paper. My perfect “A” paper was tainted with a “B” for having to turn it in late because I was busy sopping up concentrated laundry detergent. *sigh* 😀
Oh no! What a bummer deal. Isn’t it amazing how God uses the little daily things to bring our wandering minds to a halt and spend time with him even if it means cleaning up our messes.